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Need Gift Ideas
For a Plus-Sized Beginner
sugarduck
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sugarduck  Friend of PR
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France
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Date: 12/5/12 12:27 PM

I'm looking for a good sewing-related gift idea for a dear friend who has just started sewing. She took some beginners lessons at the dealership where she bought her sewing machine and has since completed a lined tote bag. She hasn't sewn any clothing yet, but would like to give it a try.

She already has all of the necessary beginners notions, so I thought a book might be a good idea. She has the Colette pattern book, but as she's just getting started, she's a bit wary of the pattern alterations needed to draft the patterns up to her size (she typically wears a 2X-3X and is an apple shape). She's in her late 20s and loves pretty blouses and knit tops with interesting details. She generally wears pants.

I've looked through several beginners pattern books, but the largest size is always several sizes smaller than my friend would need. I'm afraid that a book on advanced pattern alterations might scare her off at this point (though maybe I'm wrong...?).

Does anyone have a good gift idea for my friend? Thanks in advance!

MsMargaret
MsMargaret
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Michigan USA
Member since 9/4/06
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Date: 12/5/12 2:02 PM

She might like the SureFit pants kit. She could get a basic pair of pants to fit and there are leaflets showing how to modify the basic pattern she draws from the master pattern to get other styles.

Connie Crawford has a knit block on her website. It could be used as a basic pattern to determine if store-bought patterns are sized right for her.

Blaceyda
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Blaceyda
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Date: 12/5/12 3:11 PM

Hmmm... are you buying a gift for me? Your friend sounds just the same shape and size as me! As I'm in a similar boat to your friend, here's my current wish list (although I might have treated myself to a few of these items:D). It does include some pattern adjustment resources, but I'm beginning to learn that it's not as difficult as it sounds, and it really increases the range of patterns you can use (most patterns stop short of my measurements too). Also practically everyone needs some adjustments, and most of the books I've read this far explain it really clearly. Anyway, here's the list:

- Barbara Deckert's class of Craftsy on pattern fitting for plus sizes. I HIGHLY recommend this class. It is intermediate level, so it doesn't tell you how to sew, but rather how to make any pattern fit your measurements. I've learned so much from this class so far. Even if your friend is still getting to grips with sewing, you can access the class indefinitely, so when her basic skills improve the class will be there waiting for her!
- a hem marker like this one My first few clothing projects were skirts, and I really wish I had one of these at the time!
- rotary cutter. I LOVE my rotary cutter. I'm large AND tall, so my pattern pieces are large and take forever to cut out, unless I'm using my rotary cutter
- Books: Nancy Zieman's Pattern Fitting with Confidence, The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, Fit for Real People, and my most recent purchase, Dressmaking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making your Own Clothes are all awesome choices
- a couple of hours of your time, duct tape, an old t-shirt, some good music and a beverage of your choice to make a duct tape dress form (just google and you'll find plenty of tutorials!) It will be a great fitting aid for your friend
- Hip curve rulers/french curves for doing pattern adjustments.
-- Edited on 12/5/12 3:12 PM --

michellep74
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michellep74  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/5/12 4:18 PM

Do you know what types of clothing she'd like to sew? For example, and A-line or simple straight skirt would be really easy to grade up by a few inches and might be a good confidence booster for her to start tackling more complex alterations.

If she likes the look of Colette patterns, you could start her out with the Ginger skirt (a simple A-line skirt). It's definitely suitable for a beginner.

Edit: I just saw your comment that she usually wears pants and likes knit tops.

HotPatterns drafts patterns well into the plus sizes and their range certainly covers a 2X-3X. I think that some of their knit patterns rated as "Beginner" would probably be suitable for a newbie seamstress, particularly if there's a video tutorial available. Their instructions aren't necessarily beginner-appropriate for Advanced Beginner and Intermediate level patterns, but they're usually pretty adequate for the ones actually rated "Beginner".


-- Edited on 12/5/12 4:21 PM --

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--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 153.13 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 88 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 38 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
pre-2014 Stash patterns used in 2014: 7

jeanau
jeanau
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Pennsylvania USA
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In reply to michellep74 <<


Date: 12/5/12 8:42 PM

Michelle...your baby is delightful!

michellep74
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michellep74  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/6/12 0:35 AM

Thanks! She's an adorable little sweetheart!

------
--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 153.13 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 88 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 38 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
pre-2014 Stash patterns used in 2014: 7

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/6/12 6:25 AM

A good basic sewing book like The Complete Guide to Sewing (pub DK) is another idea. Love the inspirational color photos, and details of how to do everything- patterns are often unclear or wrong and a book like this can save hours of frustration.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

KathySews
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KathySews
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Michigan USA
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Date: 12/6/12 8:12 AM

The book Fit For Real People. It seem to be in everyone's library.

I second the suggestion of helping her make a paper tape dress form. I cannot imagine trying to sew and fit myself without mine. (bonus: the Craftsy class Plus Size Pattern Fitting by Barbara Deckert has instruction for making one! I like that the classes are at your own pace and never expire, so she can go back to things again.

Pamela's Patterns Perfect Tee pattern. She is helpful with questions and this is now my basic tee shirt pattern. simple changes to sleeves and neckline (liberally borrowed from other patterns) and I can sew up a new top in an afternoon.

sarah in nyc

sarah in nyc
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Date: 12/6/12 9:18 AM

The styles iare out of date...but the advice is great in " Life is not a dress size". I might also give your friend a fabric mart mystery bundle along with a pattern drafting book.

------
sarah in nyc
www.sewnewyork.blogspot.com

minggiddylooloo
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Date: 12/6/12 10:16 AM

How about the gift of your time and sewing expertise? Maybe devoting an afternoon a month to sew with her for a year. It's a win-win situation, spending quality time with your good friend and sewing together.

------
I'm finally a blogger!
sewming.blogspot.com

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